Evicted is written by Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Award winner Matthew Desmond. It is being hailed as a “landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America.”
In this engaging, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond follows families in some of the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story their lives as they move through the cycle of eviction. Desmond chronicles the history of evictions. They used to be rare – even in the poorest areas of American cities. Today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing and evictions are ordinary. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, readers bear witness to the human cost of poverty—and the utter resiliency people in these situations must posses to live each day.
“Whatever our way out of this mess, one thing is certain. This degree of inequality, this withdrawal of opportunity, this cold denial of basic needs, this endorsement of pointless suffering – by no American value is this situation justified. No moral code or ethical principle, no piece of scripture or holy teaching, can be summoned to defend what we have allowed our country to become.” -Matthew Desmond
Next Month …
Read The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi along with us, and listen to our discussion at the end of April.
Set in a drought decimated Southwest America, The Water Knife, imagines what will happen after an age of deregulation, of power in the hands of the few. Filled with research from the world of water rights, economy, geology, history, politics and it remains an exciting plot-driven dystopian novel.
From a review: “[A] fresh, genre-bending thriller. . . . Reading Paolo Bacigalupi’s richly imagined novel The Water Knife brings to mind the movie Chinatown. Although one is set in the past and the other in a dystopian future, both are neo-noir tales with jaded antiheroes and ruthless kingpins who wield water as lethal weapons to control life—and mete out death. . . . Bacigalupi weaves page-turning action with zeitgeisty themes. . . . His use of water as sacred currency evokes Frank Herbert’s Dune. The casual violence and slang may bring to mind A Clockwork Orange. The book’s nervous energy recalls William Gibson at his cyberpunk best. Its visual imagery evokes Dust Bowl Okies in the Great Depression and the catastrophic 1928 failure of the St. Francis Dam that killed 600 people and haunted its builder, Mulholland, into the grave. . . . Reading the novel in 93-degree March weather while L.A. newscasts warned of water rationing and extended drought, I felt the hot panting breath of the desert on my nape and I shivered, hoping that Bacigalupi’s vision of the future won’t be ours.” —Denise Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
This podcast was produced by Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz, recorded and mixed by Corey Hedden.